Bernard Kerik calls for prison reform

Bernard Kerik calls for prison reform

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) - The former New York City Police Commissioner who spent three years in a federal prison for a variety of crimes including tax fraud and making false statements says it's time for a change to the way prisons are run.

“I think understanding what prison is about, what incarceration does to people, what it does to family, the economic cost to the American government, I don’t think people understand it. I want to be clear, people who do bad crimes should go to prison, but there are hundreds of thousands of people sent to prison that do no need to go for their mistakes,” said Kerik.

Ironically, not only did Kerik serve as the city's top cop he was also head of a jail early in his career.

“I assumed as most Americans do that we pay taxes for incarceration and rehabilitation in our prison systems, for the most part there is no rehabilitation or very little," said Kerik.

The former police officer describes federal prison as worse than a state prison, "100 times worse."

“Prison is a training ground for thugary and criminality. You take these young kids for a first time offense, you give them 10 years, you give them no life improvement skills, you let them out and for some delusion you think they’re going to be better people," said Kerik.

It's a tough future for anyone released from prison.

Kerik, who was released in May from the Cumberland Federal Detention Center in Maryland, remains unemployed.

“There is this stigma that comes with the conviction. Hopefully I can go back to do something I know doing," said Kerik.











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